I’m struggling here, on a firmly Talking-up Scotland subject, to turn it into a thought-control subject and a smooth transition may be lacking. I really want to continue on from my first thoughts expressed while commented on your Alex Salmond article – I have made comments on Craig’s and Wee Ginger Dug’s blogs – Craig himself is always critical of the SNP so there’s no change there, but Paul never is and there is a worrying number of people commenting on his blog about how they suddenly and without foundation believe the SNP would prefer ermine in the lords to Scottish independence. Being a student of the Chomsky institute for tackling misinformation, I have decided to address this. It is spreading fear, and as you have educated us, fear makes us more receptive to bizarre messages that would normally be dismissed out of hand. So if you can indulge me yet again on putting a different message out there (two sets of comments brought together). I really want people to have a worry-free, relaxed festive season, to forget the fear-mongering for a while, and just chill:
The SNP have been making a huge effort to visit other countries and get them onside, Nicola Sturgeon is very well received abroad, we just don’t get to hear about it. I haven’t heard of many visits to Africa, but certainly the SNP have been upping the global awareness of Scotland being a distinct country over the past few years. I am sure Craig’s option (UDI) isn’t the preferred option of the SNP, but I doubt they would rule it out – if there was a known majority opinion to have independence. Big on democracy, the SNP. Unlike the feudal UK wide parties.
The main problem isn’t the SNP (they are really the only ones working towards a solution), it’s the misinformation, the missing bits of news, the trolling etc that means we are unlikely to get a large majority in favour of independence at any one time. Why would anyone want to be ruled by another country? It doesn’t make sense. People need to give up with the cognitive dissonance, it isn’t good for their health, the U.K. isn’t good for our health, anyone’s health.
To my mind, the attacks on Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, the dissatisfaction that’s being spread and shared, is down to MI6 doing their job. They are trying to push the SNP into holding a referendum at the wrong time – enough public pressure and dissatisfaction and they might do it. Good tactics. What makes everyone think they aren’t going to hold an independence vote of some kind? Who is it that is actually frustrated and desperate to know when it’ll be, or what form it’ll take? The unionist parties and supporters perhaps?
Do you really believe that the SNP are playing party politics, or could it be that they are acting in the best interests of Scottish people, as they do in nearly all their actions? Why would the current actions be so far away from their norm? Whose beliefs are you holding? The SNP might not always get it right, but their principles have stood the test of time, and I for one don’t believe they are suddenly throwing that away for seats in the lords. They might not get this one right either, it’s a cesspit of political manoeuvring after all, but I’d personally prefer the democratic political option in the first place.
All the MSM already hates the SNP, and with broadcasting being a reserved matter, I’m not sure taking the hardline and pissing off the BBC is going to be that fruitful – the media is a closed bubble. It would be nice to see the SNP with more backbone, but what you’d get as a result I doubt would be pretty. How do they get any air time? Rock and a hard place. Walking the line. It’s a hostile environment for the SNP and they hold their own in interviews pretty well despite that. If our own guys can’t give them a break, well, they’ve got no chance. They are politicians, and the SNP is a political party, THEY have to play by the rules. The rest of us don’t.
None of the criticism I hear quite stacks up. (‘Get them doubting. Get them suspicious and distrusting. Get them riled up and panicking. That’ll push the SNP to make a move and we can slam them.’ Is how I imagine the tactic session going). If they’d tried to UDI back during the famous walk out? I doubt they’d have had enough backing. Now, Apparently a LibDem MP came out in favour of an independence referendum this week, saying it in the HoC. That’s a change.
There is a difference between criticising someone’s behaviour, and just broadcasting your own imaginary beliefs on something that you think might happen based on a fear of what might happen, based on no evidence whatsoever. It is not criticism of the SNP when you say you think they don’t want independence, you are telling people that you think the SNP have completely changed their whole reason for being, have totally and suddenly lost all form of principle, based on no evidence, for no reason, just,,, because?
It would be cheaper, quicker, easier to have England at least in the customs union, come independence – so why shouldn’t the SNP campaign for it? I’ve no argument against a hard border mind you, and indeed if it’s going to be a wall, I have some ideas on the architecture – might as well make it a tourist attraction too – and it would be great as an infrastructure project to boost the economy & a ton of jobs.
Every day that passes there is a boost to support of independence, starting the campaign too early would be detrimental, and not kowtowing to unionist demands to do it now shows backbone. Alex was pushed into doing the first referendum by the unionists, badgered, and my my they got a surprise, he certainly rose to the challenge. All bets are off after Brexit, Westminster has to show its hand, so the clamouring will get louder up til then I should think.
The EU and the U.K. Government seem to be playing a giant game of chicken at the mo – who will blink first I wonder. As a negotiating tactic, it’s abysmal, and I have no doubt the Westminster public school elitists will be arrogant enough to follow through – no accountability in Westminster. I am happy to see calls for revising the political system, but there aren’t enough, and Scotland is lost to them already anyway, all we really hear now are the dying bleats of a lost cause from unionists.
It’s the insidious messages from within that may cause the greatest harm (aside from the MSM). I was trying to imagine why I would start thinking the SNP would sell out – we are all getting frustrated, not just those openly voicing dissatisfaction – and looked for evidence, and found none, and could not imagine why they’d suddenly change behaviour, or why I would believe so – that’s how your catchy memes take hold though, they sound half way feasible and take advantage of fear and panic. Who is more likely to sell us out, the SNP, or the Westminster government?
Who is causing the fear and panic to make us more receptive? I am actually suspicious that the Tory government might be treating Scotland and its parliament so badly on purpose to get this reaction (obviously they don’t think BBC Scotland is peddling the fearmongering well enough) – let’s have it backfire on them eh? We’ve all done wind-ups, fun isn’t it, pushing someone’s buttons, getting them to react, makes you feel superior? The U.K. Gov’t has a lot more resources to do that on a massive scale. We need to keep asking for an indyref, yes, keep pushing for it, but we’ve got to trust that the SNP will know better than us when the right time is to do it. Be confident and be sure.
But also, I don’t believe I have the luxury of not backing the SNP, I certainly won’t be watching devolution crumble and I see no other rallying crusaders out there with any clout to take on the independence campaign to conclusion. For now anyway!
Well said John, I too trust that the SNP who are doing their very best in a pretty hostile environment, and making a damn side better stab at governing for the whole of Scotland – in contrast to WM who have totally ignored the pretty evenly split Brexit vote by abandoning those who who chose Remain. If I hear anyone else say we need to mind that 1m Scots voted to leave I will scream, it just doesn’t seem to work the other way round. Anyway, I live near the border and am happy to come and help build the decorative border wall 🙂
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Written by reader Contrary!
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Ach that’s fine for you taking the credit John, we’ve already got one volunteer to build the wall after all! And I’m still just a student 😉
I too will scream if I am reminded of the 1 million scots that voted leave – the absolute hypocrisy and ignorance of those people on how democracy works is bewildering. Anyway, that leave demographic should be clamouring for Scottish independence, it will be a zillion times easier to get a leave vote, if there is a good argument and plan for it, and it would be executed in a reasonable manner. I believe we should stay/join the EU in the first instance though, tons of other stuff to do first. Ready made trade deals will give a solid base to business and give us a chance to get industries, ports, and proper tax regimes set up again.
Good news about a Scottish stock exchange being established again – can’t remember where I read it now, and don’t have a link sorry.
The simple question is: have the SNP ever sold us out? The answer is No.
Now ask the same question of any of the other parties, and it’s Yes they have.
So who are we going to trust? Simple again, the SNP.
If they ever sell us out, they’re a goner, and they know it.
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I just do not believe that Nicola Sturgeon, Mike Russell, John Swinney, and a bunch other equally able persons in the SNP government are the “sell out” types. Sell Out characteristics are I suppose a lack of firm behavioural principle? Mundell, Joanne Lamont, Leonard, Kez Dugdale come to mind. Rennie? He would dither, wringing his hands.
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Amazingly beeb Jockland report a most welcome Festive Season gift to all fair-minded, democracy loving people everywhere – but especially here in Auld Scotia. It seems that the Westminster Govt (aye – Treeza’s bedraggled crew of cut-throats and footpads) are having to cough up £105,000 (thanks to the Court of Session award in favour of Wightman and co.) towards the costs of the Wightman and co. Article 50 court case. See link and snippets below:
The UK government has been ordered to pay £105,000 in legal fees after losing its case over whether the country can unilaterally cancel Brexit.
The order was made by the Court of Session in Edinburgh as it rubber-stamped a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on the case.
The ECJ ruled last week that the UK can effectively change its mind on Brexit and remain in the EU.
The case was brought by a group of pro-Remain politicians and campaigners.
The £105,000 in legal fees they will now receive from the UK government was the maximum amount they could have been awarded by judges at the Court of Session.
The award will be split £60,000 and £45,000 between two groups who were involved in the process.
Andrew Webster QC, representing the UK’s Brexit Secretary, highlighted that the petitioners had crowdfunded about £200,000 for their legal fees ahead of the case being heard.
The case was brought by a cross-party group of pro-Remain Scottish politicians, including Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, SNP MP Joanna Cherry and MEP Alyn Smith, and Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer, together with lawyer Jolyon Maugham QC, director of the Good Law Project.
Scotland’s most senior judge Lord Carloway, the Lord President, said: “This court will grant a declarator which mirrors the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union.” (Can’t you just hear the quiet purr of satisfaction in Lord Carloway’s voice as he announced this judgement and the attendant award of the max costs possible?)
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Interestingly the Northern Ireland beeb page reports that Jolyon Maugham QC and the Better Law Group are seeking a Judicial Review of the N. Ireland Electoral Commission’s minimal investigation into massive ‘Dark Money’ donations to DUP (brexit campaign) form the shadowy Scotland based organisation the Conservative Research Council (CRC). Strange how these stories find their way onto the beeb N. Ireland page but not the beeb Jockland page (despite the very evident ‘Scottish’ Tory/Dark Money involvement) – Can’t imagine how that might happen – can you? Link and snippets below:
Judicial review proceedings are being issued against the Electoral Commission over its decision not to investigate the handling of the DUP’s biggest ever donation.
The Good Law Project is seeking the review from London’s High Court.
It relates to the Electoral Commission’s decision not to investigate the £435,000 donation made during the EU referendum.
The (vast) bulk of the money was spent by the DUP on pro-Brexit advertising.
The Electoral Commission said it has carried out its enforcement duties to “the highest standards”.
The donation was made by the pro-Brexit group the Constitutional Research Council (CRC).
On Wednesday BBC News NI reported that the CRC broke electoral law by failing to report the donation to the Electoral Commission. (CRC was fined £6,000)
Following an investigation, the CRC declared the 2016 donation and the commission found the source of the money was permissible.
The CRC is chaired by Richard Cook, a former vice chairman of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
The Good Law Project is a campaign group that works to uphold the rule of law. One of its central aims is to try and stop Brexit.
On Thursday, the organisation confirmed it was lodging proceedings at London’s High Court challenging the Electoral Commission’s decision not to take action over the CRC donation.
The names of those who donated the money to the CRC have never been released.
Donor laws in Northern Ireland state that the Electoral Commission can not release information on any donations made before July 2017.
Jolyon Maugham QC, barrister and founder of Good Law Project, said: “It is of enormous concern that the DUP, who currently wield disproportionate power, appear so unconcerned about the source of donations, and that once again the Electoral Commission’s regulation of the EU Referendum – the most important vote of our generation – appears to lack any kind of rigour.”
(Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Jolyon Maugham and the Good Law Project are able to fund their application for Judicial Review following the award of costs to them made by The Court of Session against the Westminster Govt in the Article 50 case? – Treeza – Oh what a web you weaved when first you practised to deceive).
Well presented John, thank you! Good comments too. Excellent finds, Ludo, you are a brave person delving into the murky BBC waters. Interesting that Jo Maugham is now pursuing the DUP murky dark dealings too. Bit of a crusader is Jo, it seems, and he initially crowdfunded the 70 grand to take the case to the Irish courts in a day or so or something. I didn’t follow up so no idea how it ended up in the court of session, but good on them getting this judgement through, and costs, on the Art 50 question. I believe Jo might be having desires to be a politician – just guesswork from when I was keeping an eye on his blog and Twitter – which party or what stance, I wonder, he might be up for founding a new party? Who knows.
On the subject of politicians, I do have a liking for Mike Russell, particularly when he speaks plainly – he does not suffer fools gladly, this clip from the Scot parliament is a must-watch, via a Twitter thingy
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Mike’s demolitions are a delight to watch.
Aren’t they just? Definitely uplifting – you should do clips of him as a regular spot!
Found this blog, not totally sure who Campbell Martin is mind you, on the horror of capitalism:
This one’s hit a chord – 653 reads already
Interesting article with a point well worth considering. Nice one, Contrary.
Ta Hugh, I am fine with a bit of grumbling, but I felt things evolving to a more soul-destroying tone – and hope the not-very-brief concepts give people a chance see that a lot of their fears are unfounded. None of the future is going to be easy, but we should at least be sure of our own commitment and that of the SNP in the one thing we have in common. Confidence and inner peace should be how you feel at all times!
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960! Will it pass 1 000 and trigger my issue of a smiley face?
Hah, now I understand your mercenary rewards system! I’m fairly sure most of the reader numbers come from how pretty the picture is though.
On a positive note, might this indicate that people do need some positive news (though this isn’t exactly news) about the SNP? Or do you think there may be a fair number of people that have had that niggling unsettled feeling at the back of their mind, and would like to know why?
As someone commented over on wee ginger dug, spreading fear and doubt is a known tactic – I think we can see that it is a very effective tactic because it is so hard to spot. When I think about it, this particular meme has been building for some time, but everyone has the right to their own opinion so how do we distinguish between a real opinion and something said just to disrupt, and at this stage people are just repeating the doubts that have been placed there so you can’t tell what’s what. That’s why I made my comments general and not aimed at anyone in particular.
Well, I mentioned Craig, but that’s mainly because the majority of his readership is wholly ignorant of Scottish politics, with a few notable and excellent exceptions. Craig does always complain about the SNP, how they aren’t doing it his way, and he has every right to and gives some excellent alternative ideas, but I doubt it benefits the independence cause from a ‘getting the message out there’ sort of way. I have no doubts of his dedication and fortitude on the subject. It is this question, again, of who are you writing for, who is your audience and what are you trying to put across to them? In his most recent blog on Scottish things, his sweeping statement about how the SNP aren’t doing enough abroad set me off – it wasn’t an ‘I think’, it was stated as fact, and really washed over the fact that the SNP are doing tons to raise the Scottish profile abroad, it’s arguable whether this is ‘enough’, but they should have been given credit for doing as much as they have been doing – otherwise, well, let’s face it, our reliable blog-sources of information are just as bad as the MSM. (I know it isn’t the same, a one-person blog just doesn’t have the resources, and is an opinion piece, but the Scottish people are desperate for real info!).
Now, Grousebeater has every reason to be pissed off with the SNP, and I support him that he was treated unfairly, but he now seems to have gone from saying he didn’t care about his SNP membership, to being actively wronged and actually writing blogs with an undercurrent of ‘the SNP might not support independence’ – treating him shittily and supporting independence are wholly separate things!! Where did the connection come from? From someone so erudite and thoughtful, I was very surprised as you know.
So then we go to wee ginger dug blog – never internally combative (though Westminster gets a right doin haha!), and doesn’t criticise the SNP, we see a rising number of out-of-context comments just boldly stating they don’t think the SNP are going to give us independence. Eh?
Ahh, I’m rambling on again – I am just working through why I suddenly became aware that maybe there was an urgent need to address this rather than that niggle at the back of my mind that something wasn’t right.
Right I’m busy busy, got tons to do – and should be doing it now instead of this avoidance strategy. If I don’t get a chance to write in the next few days, hope you have a great festive season John. I might look in to see if I get that smiley face mind you…
John a very enlightening and precise explanation of our situation , a great expose of what may ?? ( PROBABLY ) be happening with the SPOOKS , I admit I for one were questioning the direction of travel the SNP are taking , but no more , I have given myself a severe talking to and looked afresh at the possibilities and probabilities of what we would be subjected to ( which includes Nicola and the rest of the SNP cadre ) if any of the britnat parties took control again of Scotland . The undermining of Scotland and it’s citizens has been going on for centuries with ALL of the britnat parties , those citizens include Salmond , Sturgeon and the other SNP politicians and members do we truly believe Nicola has given up the ghost . So John THANK YOU for your wee pep talk as ever you talk sense. INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND. #DISSOLVETHEUNION
Thanks but written by reader Contrary.
“The EU and the U.K. Government seem to be playing a giant game of chicken at the mo – who will blink first I wonder.” absolute nonsense. The EU does not need to play any games with Westminster and it doesn’t. Why spoil a good article with shite like that?